According to an article at the Register by Andrew Orlowski:
Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission.
Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN’s IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.
It would be unfair to extrapolate from this one report from a single institution to Japanese science in general. But something interesting happens if you look at the representation of experts from Japanese institutions in the IPCC process. Here’s a comparison of the number of Japanese contributors to the IPCC’s AR4 with those from the UK and USA (for which we happen to have the data to hand):
Japan, a country twice as populous (127m) as the UK (60m) and twice as rich (GDP $4.487 trillion vs $2.279 trillion for the UK), contributes less than half as many experts. The USA’s GDP ($14.58 trillion) is 3.2 times Japan’s and it is 2.4 times as populous, and yet it contributes 6.5 times as many experts over all than Japan, and 8.4 times as many in Working Group I, which reviews the physical science basis for climate change. Neither does Japan’s contribution to the IPCC process reflect its position in the scientific premier league.
The IPCC, we are told, represents ‘the consensus’. It seems it does not, however, include the judgement of many Japanese scientists. Perhaps it’s just that climate is not high on Japan’s research agenda. But then again, perhaps they have good reason for why it isn’t. Either way, the idea that just 55 of ‘the world’s top scientists’ hail from Japan stretches belief.